Hyundai knows that midsize crossover buyers want the widest possible range of space, content and configuration options. Rather than trying to build a “one-size-fits-all” replacement for its popular Santa Fe, Hyundai will take the midsize crossover in two different directions for the 2013 model year.
One direction is the 2013 Santa Fe Sport, a two-row, five passenger crossover that’s closest to the 2012 Santa Fe in size. Like the current model, the new Santa Fe Sport will be available in both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive, but won’t offer up a V-6 as an engine option.
Instead, Santa Fe Sport models will come with either a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, good for 190 horsepower, or a 2.0-liter turbocharged four, good for an estimated 264 horsepower. Both will be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and both are expected to deliver fuel economy above 30 mpg on the highway.
If you need more room, the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe will come with three rows of seating and room for seven passengers. Also available in front or all-wheel-drive, the Santa Fe comes powered by a 3.3-liter V-6, rated at 290 horsepower and mated to the same six-speed automatic transmission as Sport models.
Outside, the blend-into-the-background styling of the current Santa Fe is gone, replaced by the next generation of Hyundai’s fluidic sculpture design. The interior is all new as well, and Hyundai appears to have upped both material quality and content to compete with new offerings from competitive manufacturers.
The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport will hit dealers later this year, with the larger Hyundai Santa Fe debuting in early 2013. For more information on both models, see our detailed review of the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe range.